tv CBS Morning News CBS March 24, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PDT
radio silence. airliners call the control tower at reagan national airport, and nobody answers. severe storms. tornadoes, heavy rain and hail cause all kinds of damage from california to pennsylvania. and losing a legend. the life and legacy of a hollywood original, elizabeth the life and legacy of a hollywood original, elizabeth taylor. captioning funded by cbs good morning, everybody, thanks for joining us, i'm betty nguyen. we begin with an incident at rag an national airport just outside the national's capital. if you're an anxious flyer, well, this will not help. because early wednesday morning, two airliners trying to land at reagan were unable to contact
anyone in the control tower. it's reported that the lone air traffic controller on duty was apparently asleep. susan mcginnis is in washington with the latest on this. good morning, susan. tell us what happened here. >> hi, good morning, betty. this is something aviation officials say they have never seen before. first, one pilot calls in to air traffic control at reagan airport here in washington, then a second one does, looking to land, and they're greeted with nothing but silence. it was an event that could have turned out a lot worse. transportation secretary ray lahood has ordered a national review of air traffic control staffing, following a scary incident at reagan national airport. two airliners, loaded with passengers, were trying to land early wednesday, when the control tower suddenly went silent. after circling the airport, an american airlines 737 from miami was forced to contact a regional controller 40 miles away. recordings appeared to capture the confusion.
>> american 1012, called couple times on a landline and tried calling on the commercial line and there's no answer. >> and they're not answering on the line either. >> reporter: moments later a united flight from chicago was on approach. >> united 628, just so you're aware, we just had one aircraft go into dca. and the tower is apparently unmanned. called on the phones, and nobody's answering. so that aircraft went in just as an uncontrolled airport. >> reporter: the two planes eventually landed safely, but the incident has raised serious questions about controller fatigue, especially amid reports the lone operator fell asleep. officials have ordered that two controllers be on duty late at night here at reagan national. >> that's really horrendous. >> reporter: aviation expert mark weiss says in all his years as a pilot he's never heard of a controller falling asleep. but he says pilots are trained to be prepared for anything. >> it's an anticipation that if this doesn't work out, what are
we going to do? >> reporter: the ntsb has not yet opened a formal investigation, saying the agency is still gathering information. now experts say the biggest risk to a lack of air traffic control is not so much in the air, but on the ground. because it's in the overnight hours that maintenance crews are crossing the tarmac. betty? >> how frightening. all right, susan mcginnis in washington for us. thank you, susan. a fire broke out at the miami airport in an area fuel is stored. the blaze started late last night, but was not near the terminals or runways. it was extinguished early this morning. it's still unclear, though, what started that fire. now to some severe springtime weather. in western pennsylvania, recovery efforts are under way after a tornado damaged some 30 homes. >> we got a twister! you see that twister? do you see that twister? oh, my god! >> besides the homes, two schools and some businesses were also damaged. several people suffered minor injuries. some of the homes were destroyed.
>> all i saw was just stuff flying everywhere. and i'm in my mobile home at the time, and i was scared to death. >> crews are working to clear downed trees and power lines. a line of damaging thunderstorms, high winds, heavy rain and hail moved through middle tennessee last night. there are unconfirmed reports of a tornado. trees and power lines were toppled, and a mobile home was destroyed. there are no reports of injuries. and a tornado touched down in rural northern california yesterday, about 60 miles north of sacramento. winds of up to 85 miles an hour ripped the roofs off several homes. no injuries were reported there, either. take you to libya now where nato warships are patrolling off the coast. u.s. officials say the libyan air force is no longer a factor. meanwhile, libyan ground forces still trying to retake rebel-held positions are being attacked by allied warplanes. terrell brown reports. >> reporter: traces of anti-aircraft fire pierce the night sky in tripoli. amid reports of explosions in
the eastern part of the capital. there's also word that coalition forces have hit moammar gadhafi's kand in ajdabiya. rebels moving up their front line are confident they'll soon be able to take that city. >> this is a matter of time. time only. after maybe one day or less than one day, these tanks will surrender. >> reporter: coalition planes also bombed gadhafi's forces in misrata, to stop them from shelling civilians. secretary of state hillary clinton says colonel gadhafi has the power to stop all of this. >> the quickest way for him to end this is to actually serve the libyan people by leaving. >> reporter: the white house has repeatedly stated gadhafi must go. but the u.n. resolution calls for protection of the libyan people, not a regime change. that leaves president obama to answer some tough questions. house speaker john boehner sent the president a letter wednesday firing off questions about the mission in libya. he stated, a united nations
security council resolution does not substitute for a u.s. political and military strategy. defense secretary robert gates says the u.s. could turn over control of the operation as early as saturday. but the terms of the transition are still being discussed by core nato allies. other countries are already flying a larger share of the combat strikes. but the rest is up in the air. terrell brown, cbs news, the united nations. early this morning, israeli aircraft hit targets on the gaza strip. israel says the attacks are in response to a round of shelling and wednesday's deadly bombing in jerusalem. a crowded bus was bombed in central jerusalem. one woman was killed and more than 20 others wounded. israeli authorities blame palestinian militants. in japan, three workers were exposed to radiation at the crippled nuclear power plant. two of them were injured while installing electrical wires, and were taken to hospitals for treatment. meanwhile, japanese officials say radiation levels in tokyo and its water supply have
returned to safe levels. but remain high in two nearby neighborhoods. the number of estimated dead and missing from the quake and tsunami is now over 25,000. movie icon elizabeth taylor will be buried later this week. taylor died yesterday. she's being remembered as much for the life she led off the screen, as she is for her academy award-winning movie career. kendis gibson reports. >> and i'm not going to say good-bye to you. >> reporter: the world did have to say good-bye to elizabeth taylor wednesday. at her star on the hollywood walk of fame, violet flowers to match her violet eyes that helped catapult her to fame. >> the world's going to miss liz. my world stopped today and i know everybody who loved her and worked with her and had the privilege, of being in her space is going to feel sad for a long time. >> i feel like a cat on a hot tin roof. >> reporter: she ee pit ms. ed for half a century, winning movies and starring in her own
personal love life that the tabloids devoured. she was married eight times and at the center of scandalous affairs. one of her husbands, former senator john warner from virginia, had only kind words for her wednesday. saying he would remember her heart and soul were as beautiful as her classic face and majestic eyes. taylor was one of the original stars here on the hollywood walk of fame. but in the latter part of her life, she used her celebrity to shine a spotlight on an issue close to her heart. she was one of the first to bring the hiv/aids epidemic to the mainstream media. she worked with dr. michael got leeb who was one of the first physicians to describe what would eventually be called aids. together they created the american foundation for aids research. >> she was tireless in her effort. i think that her presence as a spokesperson will last for many, many years. >> reporter: an enduring legacy she would be proud of. kendis gibson, cbs news, hollywood. we'll have more on the life and legacy of elizabeth taylor a
little bit later in the show. you're watching the "cbs morning news." [ woman ] i had this deep, radiating pain everywhere... and i wondered what it was. i found out that connected to our muscles are nerves that send messages through the body. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia, thought to be the result of overactive nerves that cause chronic, widespread pain. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i learned lyrica can provide significant relief from fibromyalgia pain. and less pain means i can do more with the ones i love. [ female announcer ] lyrica is not for everyone. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior or any swelling or affected breathing, or skin, or changes in eyesight, including blurry vision or muscle pain with fever or tired feeling. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you.
at relieving your worst symptoms and works when you need it most. benadryl®. you can't pause life. the first of five u.s. soldiers accused of murdering civilians in afghanistan last year has pleaded guilty. specialist jeremy morlock told a judge wednesday, quote, the plan was to kill people. under the plea deal, he was sentenced to 24 years in prison. but will be up for parole in eight. morlock has agreed to testify against the four other members of his unit. a device called a blowout preventer is being blamed for the massive bp oil spill in the gulf of mexico. a new study released wednesday says the device failed to stop the spill because of faulty design, and a bent piece of pipe. experts say this casts doubt on the reliability of all blowout preventers. 11 workers died in the bp blast, causing more than 200 million gallons of oil to spill.
and a surprising new study this morning on fish and heart health. the research found that eating fish like shark or sword fish with high levels of toxic mercury does not raise the risk of heart disease or stroke. no difference was seen in those with the highest concentration of mercury, compared to those with the lowest. on the "cbs moneywatch," from home sales, they are going to be falling we understand. and prince william and kate middleton make sweet music on itunes. ashley morrison is here in new york with the latest on that. good morning, ashley. >> good morning to you, betty. a mixed day for the asian markets. tokyo's nikkei dropped a fraction while hong kong's hang seng ticked up slightly and oil fell from a two-year high but still remains above $105 a barrel. today, wall street gets the february durable goods report and a look at the weekly jobless claim numbers. on wednesday, a late rally kept stocks on the upside. the dow closed up 67 points to hit its highest level in two weeks. while the nasdaq gained 14. the disaster in japan is
forcing toyota to slow its production here in the u.s. the world's biggest automaker told employees and dealers wednesday that due to supply disruptions from asia, it expects to halt production at some u.s. factories. the company did not indicate the size or pace of the slowdown, but it is expected to be somewhat limited since most toyotas made in this country use parts made in america. new worries this morning about the housing market, after sales of new homes fell to the lowest on record. sales fell 17% in february, the third straight monthly decline. and the worst since they started keeping records 50 years ago. the median home sale price fell to $202,000. in response, many builders are cutting their prices and building less expensive homes. united and continental airlines are finally rolling out in-flight wi-fi. they are the last major carriers to offer the service to most of their passengers. the two airlines merged last
year. 95 live tv stations will also be available. and besides making royal history, prince william and kate middleton are set to make music history. when they tie the knot next month, the entire ceremony will be released on itunes within hours. the wedding album will also be available online before it hits stores. no word yet on just how much the royal download will cost. betty, i'm sure a lot of people will be downloading it. >> yeah, no doubt. interested in that wedding, huh? the countdown is on. >> it is. >> ashley morrison here in new york joining us live. thank you, ashley. actress lindsay lohan has rejected a plea deal on charges she stole a necklace. lohan's lawyer says she didn't take the necklace, and are confident she will win if she goes to trial. the plea deal could have sent her to prison for several months. a preliminary hearing is set for april 22nd. straight ahead your thursday morning weather, and in sports, the grizzlies try to steal one from the celtics. [ school bell rings ]
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here's a look at the weather in some cities around the country. new york, partly cloudy, 42. miami, sunny, 84. chicago, sunny, 35. dallas, partly cloudy, 76. and l.a., light rain, 61 degrees. time now for a check of the national forecast. the latest satellite picture shows clouds on the eastern seaboard finally pushing out to sea.
and out west, storms up and down the pacific coast. later today, lots of sun and cooler than usual temperatures from the northeast to the rockies. and wet and windy on the west coast. in sports the grizzlies squeaked by the celtics to stay in the playoff hunt. with a minute on the clock, the clutch hook shot put memphis up by three. boston's paul pierce has a chance to tie, but misses. the grizzlies pulled off boston 90-87. rodney stuckey throws down a huge jam against miami to put the pistons up by three. but it is not enough to hold off lebron james and the heat. miami rallies past detroit 100-94. and in denver the nuggets wilson chandler nails the go-ahead jumper against san antonio with less than 30 on the clock. the spurs manu ginobili has a chance to tie with a three pointer but throws up an air ball. the nuggets defeat the spurs 115-112. and march madness is back with
the round of 16. coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern tonight, right here on cbs. when we return, another look at this morning's top stories. and, on board a navy ship helping deliver much-needed aid to japan. sports sponsored by ice blue aqua velva. the choice of men for generations. aqua velva. men get it. [ female announcer ] sometimes you need tomorrow to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. motrin pm. is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. [ giggles ] hey, max.
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on the "cbs morning news" here's a look at today's weather. the sunshine returns as severe storms finally leave the east coast. the fair weather stretches all the way to the midwest, until you get to the west coast, where heavy rains and snow will pound the region. here's another look at this morning's top stories. two airliners scheduled to land at reagan national airport early
wednesday morning called the control tower and no one answered. it is reported the lone traffic controller on duty was asleep. and in libya, allied warplanes are attacking libyan ground forces. the u.s. hopes to hand over control of the no-fly zone to nato by saturday. in japan, the u.s. navy is hard at work delivering much-needed supplies to quake and tsunami victims. charlie d'agata reports from aboard the "uss essex." >> reporter: they need clean water now more than ever in japan. the american troops on the "uss essex" off the northeast coast of the country are delivering it. they make it themselves. the huge desalination unit on the "essex" turns salt water into drinking water. it's just one of the ship's capabilities when it comes to helping survivors after disasters on the scale of japan's earthquake and tsunami. >> being stationed in japan, the mission here was to help our
japanese allies, partners and friends, and families in many cases, is very moving. >> reporter: delivering humanitarian aid is routine for pilots and crews here. but this mission has been complicated by the threat of radiation that hangs in the air from the fukushima nuclear power plant. >> we've got the training. we've got the equipment to deal with the radiation, so it's really just an afterthought. you know, it's in the back of our minds but it's not something that's going to slow us down. >> reporter: but they're reminds of the risks when they get back. each person who comes on board is checked for radiation exposure. >> it's really not changing how we do things. because we trained in this kind of environment. we do annual training all the time in this type of environment. now that we're in it, we actually put the training to use. >> reporter: military planners expect their role in recovery to increase once the japanese government can determine the specific needs of the hardest-hit areas. for now, clean water tops the list almost everywhere. charlie d'agata, cbs news, off the coast of japan. this morning on "the early show," more on the severe spring
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fans around the world are mourning the death of actress elizabeth taylor. she died wednesday in los angeles at the age of 79. taylor left a legacy of stardom, a stormy love life, and humanitarian work to fight aids. her career spanned almost her entire life. manuel gallegus has more. >> i wished your mother were here. >> she's here. she's inside me. >> reporter: most americans first laid eyes on elizabeth roseman taylor in the movie "national velvet." at just 12 years old she skyrocketed to fame. during the next seven decades the public would be fascinated by her marriages and scandalous affairs. her countless illnesses, surgeries, seesawing appearance, and her remarkable ability to triumph through it all. ♪ hey there
>> reporter: after a string of films as a teenager, in the '50s critics finally recognized taylor for her acting, as well as her violet-eyed beauty. by 1957 she had been divorced twice. >> i could really care less about making movies, to tell you the truth. i consider it much more important to be a good woman. >> reporter: a year later the public no longer thought taylor was a good woman. devastated by the death of her third husband, mike todd, in a plane crash, taylor found comfort in his best friend eddie fisher. soon the public despised taylor for breaking up the marriage of fisher and sweetheart debbie reynolds. he became husband number four. it was the biggest hollywood scandal of the decade. yet less than three years later the public was back on taylor's side after she almost died of pneumonia. sympathy from her emergency tracheotomy helped her win an academy award for best actress in "butterfield 8." >> i'm not like anyone, i'm me. >> reporter: in 1963 taylor
became the highest paid actress in film history, receiving $1 million for "cleopatra." still married to fisher, she began a stormy love affair with her co-star, husband five and six richard burton. they were boozy and volatile. the couple would make nine films together with "who's afraid of virginia woolf" earning taylor her second oscar. what's considered her finest performance. theirs was a larger than life romance right down to the 69.5 carat diamond burton bought for her. they divorced in 1976. in 1991, taylor surprised everyone with her eighth marriage to larry fortensky, a 40-year-old recovering alcoholic construction worker. throughout her loves, taylor had two sons and two daughters. at 72 she revealed she had congestive heart failure. still, she never completely shied away from the public eye. when asked what she considered her biggest accomplishment, elizabeth taylor replied, i survived. manuel gallegus, cbs news, hollywood. >> she will be missed. coming up a little bit later
on "the early show," more on the remarkable life of screen legend elizabeth taylor. also, the latest on the incident at reagan airport, where the air traffic controller may have fallen asleep. and a popcorn shocker at the movies. why theater owners are pushing back against the fda. that's the "cbs morning news" for this thursday. thanks for watching, everybody. i'm betty nguyen. have a great day. ,,,,,,,,